The EU Digital Agenda scoreboard
Achievements - and concerns - are highlighted in the latest review of the EU's Digital Agenda.
Progress of the Digital Agenda
This week has seen the publication of latest annual scoreboard to map progress of the EU's Digital Agenda.
The digital agenda, which is one of the key strands of the EU's ten year strategy to revive the economy of Europe, has a number of broad targets and 101 planned actions to help achieve these, including:
- The digital single market (aiming to remove barriers to free-flowing online and entertainment services)
- Increased internet speeds across the EU
- Improved investment in ICT research and innovation
- Enhancing e-skills and targeting the digital divide.
The ICT sector in the EU provides 8 million jobs, generating 6% of the EU's gross domestic product (GDP). The latest scoreboard highlights some positive achievements. However, the shift to mobile technologies and increased data consumption demonstrate the continued potential for growth - growth which is not being achieved due to a number of factors. The scoreboard highlights these barriers and recommends a number of actions.
- Ubiquitous broadband - 95% of Europeans have access to a fixed broadband connection
- Mobile internet - take up increased by 62% in the last year
- New connections - 15 million additional Europeans were connected in 2011. 68% of Europeans are regular internet users
- E-government take-up - in particular in cash-strapped economies, helping to deliver quality services and value for money
Areas of concern
- Skills gaps - There are still concerns about ICT skills gaps in the EU. Almost 25% of the EU population has no ICT skills. There are predictions that the number of ICT vacancies in Europe will reach 700,000 by 2015.
- Research investment - EU ICT investment is falling behind that of its competitors
- E-commerce - SMEs failing to take advantage of e-commerce to drive exports
- Red tape and language barriers - make cross border online shopping challenging
34 of the 101 Digital Agenda actions have been completed, with 15 at risk of delay. For more information on the Agenda and the Scoreboard, follow the links to the EU.